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By ATWadmin On November 15th, 2007 at 6:12 pm

tangledpubnn0.jpgYou either go forward or you go backwards. (Unless you’re a liberal in which case you go sidewards but nobody cares!) As in life, so in blogs.

ATW has been through quite a bit of change over recent months with some of our contributing writers leaving us, (Richard, Andrew) others joining us (Mahons) and old warhorses like me relentlessly staying at the centre of it all. I am indebted to ALL those who take the time to come here and blog. However I feel we need more bloggers to our roster to ensure that the daily output stays frequent and high quality – (esp when I am otherwise engaged) plus you cannot get enough of good writing!

And so, I have been looking to add some of the best new bloggers to our transatlantic team and with that in mind, I would like to announce that ATW will henceforth include Jammie Wearing Fool.

JWF won 2007 Weblog  BEST NEW BLOG and is an excellent site for ATW to be associated with.  JWF is original, witty and insightful and I am sure can make a great contribution here.  I hope you will provide a warm if not positively molten ATW welcome to JWF (Yea, we are going acronymic crazy!)

I hope to announce further new names very shortly – and all to ensure that you get a lively daily read of the best "shoot from the hip" writing on the blogosphere!


By ATWadmin On November 15th, 2007 at 5:33 pm

I don’t know about you but I react to the latest UN report on Iran’s FAILURE to stop enriching uranium with exasperation.

True to form the the UN nuclear watchdog lapdog has said Iran has provided it with information about its past nuclear activities as agreed under a work plan made in August. But of course the IAEA has also said that Iran sot suspended uranium enrichment work as demanded by the UN Security Council and had 3,000 centrifuges. Iran are playing them for fools and we can all see it. Mr El Baradei has said Iran is "years" away from making nuclear bombs. How can he tell? On 5th December 2005 he claimed Iran was "months" away from making a nuclear bomb? Was he wrong then, and if so, how can we know he is right now? Why do we invest any credibility in dear Mohammad?

The Mullas want nukes, they have carefully explained why they need them (that pesky business of the unfinished business with Israel) so this UN charade merely delays the day of reckoning. Time to take their nukes out – the sooner this happens the better.

Made in China

By ATWadmin On November 15th, 2007 at 3:31 pm

Tainted dog food.     Drug laced children toys.   Hard drives with equipment for spying? 

Can we afford this?

Trojan Found In New HDs Sold In Taiwanhttp:

"About 1,800 brand new 300-GB or 500-GB external hard drives made for Maxtor in Thailand were found to have trojan horse malwares pre-installed (autorun.inf and ghost.pif). When the HD is in use, these forward information on the disk to two websites in Beijing, China: www.nice8.org or www.we168.org. The article implies that authorities believe the Chinese government is behind the trojans. A later article pins down the point of infection to a subcontractor company in China. A couple of months back the Register was reporting on pre-installed malware detected on Maxtor disks sold in the Netherlands. This earlier report was downplayed by a Seagate spokesman." The more recent Taipei Times article says that Seagate admits the problem on its Web site, but a search there turns up nothing. 



By ATWadmin On November 15th, 2007 at 2:29 pm


The court was told that conditions in these jails include inmates being locked up for 23 hours a day in small cells — between 48 and 80 square feet (4.5sq m and 7.5sq m) — with no natural light, no control over the electric light and no view. During this time they have no contact with other prisoners, even verbal, and no meaningful contact with staff.


By ATWadmin On November 15th, 2007 at 9:31 am

I’ll be honest and say that as the Bush administration enters it twilight I am increasingly sickened by many of the decisions that it takes. I say this as someone who has resolutely stuck by the war on terror since 9/11. (and before) in the teeth of local criticism and demonisation.

So when I see that President Bush will be welcoming Northern Ireland First Minister Ian Paisley and his Deputy First Minister (but equal in standing) Martin McGuinness on 7th December, I feel let down.

Mr McGuinness is a self-proclaimed terrorist whose IRA organisation has killed THOUSANDS. The IRA remains intact, still killing as we have recently seen in south Armagh, and yet this is being air-brushed out of the occasion. Mr McGuinness is a GOOD terrorist, you see. Just like Mr Adams. 

Over the years, notorious figures such as Arafat have also been given the red carpet treatment so this is nothing new but it is poor form – no doubt the pro-terror reptiles in US State Dept are behind this.

Maybe President Bush will enquire of Mr McGuinness as to his memories of the car bombing of the little village of Claudy? Having an appeaser like Paisley and a self-confirmed terror warlord like McGuinness in the White House cheapens the place. I know it is the fault of those in Northern Ireland who voted for such abominations in the first place, but by the same token, has Hezbollah leader Nasrallah been granted a visit with Bush? How about those crazy Hamas guys – any state visits planned?

The sanitisation of IRA terror may not have started in the USA but it is going along with it, and Bush should be ashamed.


By ATWadmin On November 15th, 2007 at 9:20 am

mr20bean.jpgI chuckled when I read that European countries should be more willing to launch military interventions in trouble-spots around the world, according to Mr Bean ringer David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary.

Miliband will use a speech in Bruges to warn the European Union it faces becoming irrelevant (Love the use of the future tense) if it is unwilling to deploy “hard power” to promote democracy and tackle conflict beyond its borders.

Memo to Milliband. The EU is only interested in soft-power. It wants to use dialogue and "negotiation" to solve the worlds’ ills. Recruiting a regiment of aromatherapists is perhaps achievable,  constructing a legion of stress councillors possible, but as regards anything else – forget it. You may as well send in the Belgium Army.

Milliband adds that the EU can fill a vacuum in modern politics. Yes – the vacuum once filled by a proud Nation STATE.


By ATWadmin On November 15th, 2007 at 9:07 am

One of the most shocking stories in the news over here in Northern Ireland in recent days was the death of seven people in a house fire in Omagh. An entire family perished in the flames, including the two parents and their five kids, the youngest of which was only nine months old. The house was left in ruins.

Now it is revealed that the father, Mr McIlhill, is also the prime suspect. Apparently petrol had been poured in various locations inside the house so explaining the intensity of the fire.

What a tragedy. How could anyone set out to kill their family? The oldest child was only 13. Who can say what was going on in Mr McIlhill’s mind, if this allegation proves to be correct? I know that we all have moments where we despair, but the sun rises afresh each day and the world is renewed. If you faith in God, you know that he is there to look over us so there is always meaning in life. But this poor family has left this world for good, and the thought that the father was responsible is indeed disturbing.

mapping muslims – shelved

By ATWadmin On November 15th, 2007 at 9:05 am

Earlier in the week David reported on curious a plan by LAPD to ‘map muslim enclaves in the city’ to determine which communities might be having problems integrating and thus might have members susceptible to “violent, ideologically based extremism.”

It was sharply criticized and called religious profiling by civil rights groups and has now been been shelved.

“There was a clear message from the Muslim community that they were not comfortable with it. So we listened,” the Los Angeles Police Department, told The Associated Press. Salam Al-Marayati, executive director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, praised the decision.

Downing and other city officials defended it, saying the idea was to deepen ties with Muslim communities. The plan would have had data assembled by the University of Southern California’s Center for Risk and Economic Analysis. There are an estimated 500,000 Muslims in Los Angeles, Orange and Riverside counties.


By ATWadmin On November 15th, 2007 at 8:56 am

I note that NCP traffic wardens have given out 100,000 more tickets than were dispensed in the PSNI’s last year in charge of the service. In the first year that NCP was responsible for parking enforcement, 163,500 tickets were given out.  This compares to 61,488 in the previous 12 months when the PSNI was in charge. NCP, a private company, has a continuing contract with the Development for Regional Development to deploy traffic wardens across NI.

Now then, a few things to say.

First, I wish that Government took as much interest in dealing with crime as it did in those who park their vehicles illegally.

Second, I think that drivers who blatantly flout traffic regulations SHOULD be fined. I often see some shocking parking and I fail to see why such motorists get away with it. 

Third, there is a lack of discretion. It seems to me that there has to be latitude employed in given circumstances. To fine people because they over-run the meter by a few minutes is a scandal.

There is a sense that government seeks to criminalise the motorist, to fine, to tax, to punish. As I have said before this is because I believe the government hates the idea of us motorists driving where and when we want – it is the exercise of our freedom that so enrages the political class. They would much prefer we all travelled by State bus at times and to locations specified.

Adrienne Shelly

By ATWadmin On November 15th, 2007 at 12:07 am

Adrienne Shelly in Waitress
Adrienne Shelly in Waitress 

I was reminded recently that this month marks the one year anniversary of actress Adrienne Shelly’s death. From The Observer
On 1 November last year, the day after Halloween – a night that tends to turn all of New York City into a bacchanal of spooky and elaborately costumed glee – a woman working in a Greenwich Village apartment was found hanging by a sheet in her shower.

The woman was Adrienne Shelly.  Her last film Waitress in which she starred and directed had been recently completed and entered for the Sundance Film Festival. Shelly had spent those last few days on tenterhooks, waiting to hear if it had been accepted.

The idea that this woman should have killed herself was difficult to consider, and Shelly’s husband, Andy Ostroy, was convinced that suicide was impossible. She would never have left her daughter intentionally, he told police, and over the next few days, thanks to his insistence and a more thorough examination of the crime scene, he was proven right. ‘He was her hero,’ Shelly’s good friend Sasha Eden later told me, ‘even in her death. Andy did everything in his power, and made the whole murder come out.’

Next to the shower where Shelly was found, a muddy Reebok footprint had been left on the toilet. Detectives were able to match it to footprints in the apartment directly below Shelly’s office. They traced them to a 19-year-old Ecuadorean construction worker, in the US illegally, named Diego Pillco, who subsequently confessed to Shelly’s murder.

That day, he said, Shelly had come down to the apartment where he was working and complained about construction noise. He didn’t speak much English, having recently arrived in the United States, but he understood when she threatened to call the police. Fearing that he would be deported if the police were called, he threw a hammer at Shelly and followed her back up to her apartment. There, she slapped him and he knocked her hard enough to make her fall back and hit her head against a table. Assuming the worst, he tried to cover up his crime by making it look like a suicide. He took a sheet from the bed and tied Shelly to the shower rail.

The postmortem later revealed that the blow had not killed her. She died of compression to the neck: in other words, the cover-up was the fatal aspect of the crime. Despite his confession, Pillco pleaded not guilty; he was held without bail and is currently awaiting trial for second-degree murder.

The Adrienne Shelly Foundation, which Ostroy has set up in her honour, exists to encourage women to make films.